Just Read It: Unlocking the Magic of Independent Reading in Middle and High School Classrooms

­Corwin. Feb. 2024. 288p. pap. $39.95. ISBN 9781071907245.
An essential resource for professionals fostering independent reading in middle and high school environments. Based around Amato’s Read and WRAP (Write, Reflect, Analyze, and Participate) framework, the book offers research-based background information, concrete strategies for utilizing the framework, and ideas for literacy advocacy. Amato has piloted Read and WRAP—a routine in which students spend the beginning of each class reading independently and reflecting collaboratively—at multiple school levels in several states. He speaks from personal experience about the framework, from inception to implementation to reflection, and the anecdotes shared reinforce the positive outcomes of this teaching technique. The book includes ways for instructors to advocate for adopting Read and WRAP; but even if sweeping curricular changes are not possible, educators will find numerous strategies for fostering independent reading in the classroom. The book details over 40 different activities that can be used in an Intro to Lit unit, as WRAP prompts, and for year-end activities to celebrate student learning. Amato also takes time to highlight Project LIT, a community reading initiative started by his ninth-grade students—he uses the creation of Project LIT as a case study in empowering students to take literacy beyond the classroom.
VERDICT A must-purchase for professional collections. English instructors, school librarians, and others focused on promoting literacy through independent reading in middle and high schools will find valuable resources to use throughout the school year.

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